tv Marine Le Pen BBC News April 7, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST
when these occupation, when these militias were targeted by either iranian proxies are by sunni islamists. that's certainly something that the americans wouldn't want to revive. we will see if that happens that's a possible scenario. i not aware that it has been threatened, but it's a possibility. we do have some state m e nts possibility. we do have some statements from the us official. i was listening to you talking about russia with ben.. it is now apparent that russia has failed to uphold the commitments it made in 2013 to ensure the elimination of the syrian chemical weapons programme. russia faces a choice. either it takes responsibility for ensuring that assad complies with the removal of these weapons, as russia committed it would do, or it admits that it lacks the ability to control assad. very much putting russia in the
picture in terms of blame for this chemical weapons attack being carried out because it had not met its commitments for guaranteeing that assad destroyed all of those weapons. also had a go at russia for the way it responded to this chemical weapons attack. its explanation was that the opposition chemical weapons depot had been hit and the gas was coming from that. they said it was completely implausible and that the russians promote a false set of facts every time the regime commits an atrocity. so they are really taking on the russians very much like we saw in the un security council with nikki haley. russia very much partly
blamed for this attack. just to recap, rex tillerson says they feel the strike was proportionate. the us military says initial indications are that the strike has severely damaged or destroyed syrian aircraft and infrastructure. this is at the airfield near the city of homs, believed to be the base from which the syrian government launched that attack on khan sheikhoun, the rebel held down in idlib province killed dozens held down in idlib province killed d oze ns of held down in idlib province killed dozens of people. we understand 59 ci’ews dozens of people. we understand 59 crews missiles hit the airfield, fired from two navy destroyers. we understand runways, aircraft and fuel points targeted. we believe russia was told the attack was on the way, which implies these are token strikes, if you will, is pacific contained response, rather —— but this remains to be seen. this is what president trump had to say just now. my fellow americans.
on tuesday, the syrian dictator bashar al—assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. using a deadly nerve agent, assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. it was a slow and brutal death for so many. even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. no child of god should ever suffer such horror. tonight i ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in syria from where the chemical attack was launched. it is in this vital national security interest of the united states to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
there can be no dispute that syria used chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention and ignored the urging of the un security council. years of previous attempts at changing assad's behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically. as a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the united states and its allies. tonight i call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.
we ask for god's wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. we pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. and we hope that, as long as america stands forjustice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail. good night and god bless america and the entire world. thank you. that statement from president trump in the past hour or so from florida, where he is meeting the chinese president. barbara plett usher is still there. you are hearing from
the pentagon? yes. the pentagon has outlined what happened. a few more details, saying that the targets we re details, saying that the targets were aircraft, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, ammunition systems and radars. also saying that the us took extraordinary measures, i'm quoting, to avoid civilian casualties and that russian forces we re casualties and that russian forces were notified in advance of the strikes, using the established dcom feature mine and that the us planners took efforts to minimise risk to syrian and russian personnel at the airstrike, saying it was proportional response to bashar al—assad's heinous acts. they have said a number of times that it was proportional. and claiming the shayrat air field was used to store chemical we can. and the us forces
established the air planes stored there were the ones used for the chemical attacks. so a very targeted strike and also with the targeted purpose. they are still assessing the results of this strike. initial indications are that it has severely damaged or destroyed syrian aircraft and infrastructure, reducing their ability to deliver chemical weapons and ending by saying the use of chemical and against innocent people will not be tolerated. at the latest statement from the pentagon, outlining how the strikes were carried out. how they aimed to have as casualties as possible, to send a strong message to syrian government, that chemical weapons attacks will not be tolerated. you also quoted earlier an american official, the rating russia specifically as you say, not being targeted in this attack. —— were rated russia. that
was forfailing to attack. —— were rated russia. that was for failing to contain chemical weapons in russia. they took over the response ability of taking back syria's chemical weapons. what is the chance of that, given how strong president assad is in syria?” the chance of that, given how strong president assad is in syria? i think the statement from the official was basically putting on the line what the americans see as the russian responsibility here and quite strong language from the trump administration, which has been very low roof to criticise the russians in syria or anywhere else. —— loathe to. they say the russians had sought to. they say the russians had sought to guarantee that the syrians were eliminating all of their chemical work and is. the russians are the allies of syria and so they said they would look after that part of it. this statement by the us officials said they failed to do so and the question about whether they
we re and the question about whether they were really able to do so, whether they were really able to control bashar al—assad. that's a question that i heard many times from us officials, either the russians are willing or maybe they don't have as much influence as we think they do. so this is quite a public and stark statement, saying, maybe the russians don't have the ability, maybe they don't have the influence, to rein in bashar al—assad when it comes to chemical weapons, and therefore they need to... but they are held culpable because they are backing him and made these public claims. also, as i said before, basically saying that russian narrative about what happened, that this was an opposition chemical work in storage unit that was hit either bomb, that was completely implausible. and taking russia to task for basically telling lies on the half of the syrian regime. they give very much indeed for that forced a earlier we were saying that mrtrump said it
forced a earlier we were saying that mr trump said it was in america's vital national interest to stop the spread and use of chemical weapons. some blowback on that from his own party. 0ne senator saying, some blowback on that from his own party. 0ne senatorsaying, our some blowback on that from his own party. 0ne senator saying, our prior interventions on this have done nothing to make it safer and syria will be no different. aga rubio, a rival for the republican nomination and presidency, has also responded to the strikes. —— marco rubio. and presidency, has also responded to the strikes. -- marco rubio. my first reaction is to acknowledge and appreciate the skill of men and women in uniform. the president took an appropriate step tonight and this is not a symbolic. he took an attack againstan is not a symbolic. he took an attack against an airfield from which the chemical attacks were conducted against innocent civilians. i think the president made the right moves and so obviously now it is an attack, that has a strategic objective. the grading assad's capability to continue to attack his people with those agents like sarin —— degrading. we will have to see
the aftermath. i trust the men and women who build up these packages. the targeting was specific. i believe it was the right moves and i am confident that the president and the administration and his military officials put in place the sheer number necessary to achieve the objective. the night was a move to degrade an emergency situation. the ability of bashar al—assad to a carryout chemical weapons attacks on his own people. the president is not going to announce some kind of longer term engagement. i would imagine that if that moment would arrive he would come to congress at that point and seek authorisation. but tonight he acted under his authority as commander in chief. the target of a facility that was used to gas women and children and men and he made the right choice. this was a targeting of a facility that
was a targeting of a facility that was used to conduct chemical weapons attacks against innocent civilians. if russians happens to be there then that means they were complicit in this chemical attacks. that was marco rubio. we have the director of politics at the washington institute. we spoke to you before the news came through of the strikes. what are you thinking? i think the strike that was ordered and the statement that was made was both appropriate and frankly presidential. so i think it looks good so far. we'll see what the damage estimate was, the assessment afterwards. we will see what the damage was. but i think, as i said earlier, this was long over due at it looks like it was appropriate. when you say it is appropriate and it was long overdue, what good does it was long overdue, what good does it do? i think it sends a signal that the united states is not going
to stand idly by while civilians in syria are being gassed to death. we can make an argument that the united states and the international community should not be standing idly by as the people of syria are being killed by barrel bonds. but i think a judgement has been made, but the use of chemical were to, biological or nuclear, is something that we want to deter and to make beyond the pale and to take action to try to deter their further use. in that sense it was appropriate. to try to deter their further use. in that sense it was appropriatem is an administration that has done its best to stop all syrian refugees coming into the us. it doesn't suggest a lot ofjoined up thinking. frankly, the people of syria... we are targeting the isis now in syria. the people have been fleeing for the past six years the assad regime,
which has been killing them. they have been going as a matter of policy. the assad regime has been driving them out of the country and trying to change the balance there. the russians have been encouraging that to try to end european unity. the us is not a primary destination point for syrian refugees. and it won't be. there should be humanitarian support. the us has given more money than almost any other country in the world to support these refugees. i think this is not a matter of whether we should accept more refugees, it's a matter of whether we should try to end this warand of whether we should try to end this war and play of whether we should try to end this warand play an of whether we should try to end this war and play an active role in doing so. war and play an active role in doing so. we have not done so in the past six or seven so. we have not done so in the past six or seven years. so. we have not done so in the past six or seven years. russia was given the responsibility of eliminating chemical weapons in syria. 0ne us official we have just been quoting has pointed out that they have
failed in that, quite evidently. and they now face a choice, as he put it, to prove that they can yet rid of chemical weapons from the battlefield in syria or admit they lack the ability to control president assad. what chance of movement you see on any of that? sta rt start the russians have been compolice it. the russians tried to preserve the renl em and in the deal to remove the chemical weapons, even the united states said in the end, we got something like 90% of the declared chemical weapons. they obviously didn't declare all of the chemical weapons. the russians weren't particularly concerned about that. they are concerned about saving the assad regime and haven't been concerned, have actually covered up and provided the assad regime with political cover at the un to allow them to continue the use of killing the syrian people with chemical weapons despite what the un
investigation mechanism has revealed, which is that the assad regime has been using them all along, whether it's sarin agents or chlorine. i think that the state m e nts chlorine. i think that the statements from the administration are tough and appropriately so. but the bottom line is from where i sit, the bottom line is from where i sit, the russians are the key actor in syria. they are the backers of the regime, they have helped the assad regime, they have helped the assad regime survive the war. without the russians, the assad regime would be gone. they have a special role toll play and it is inconceivable that they were not alerted or aware that they were not alerted or aware that the assad regime was going to be using these chemical weapons, so they have to be held responsible. we've just been seeing some footage there from the decks of the two us navy destroyers from which we understand the cruise missiles were launched. just at the moment on syrian state tv, a syrian general is talking about illegal american air
strikes against what he calls a staged chemical weapons attack. the governor of homs province where the cruise missiles hit saying that the strikes serve the goal of armed terrorist groups and the so—called islamic state. there is a danger that american air strikes will recruit and radicalise more people? how so? because the syrian people are going to be angry that they're not being the target of chemical weapons from the regime? no, i think that that is wrong. the regime... the plague on both your houses, argument. that people think that they have nothing to gain, nothing to lose here? i think that the people of syria that are not living under assad and that don't support the assad regime, they are living unwillingly, the vast majority of them, under isis. 0r under oir syrian sunni rebels. they don't like the assad regime, the people that
are living in these areas that are being targeted by the assad regime. the assad regime has benefitted from isis. they have a sim —— symbiotic relationship. i don't think that the bombing will drive more people into the hands of isis. in fact, sills sis is gaining adherence because the assad regime, which —— isis is gaining adherence because the assad regime has been slaughtering sunni muslims for the last six years without impunity and something that the holocaust museum in the united states says resembles a genocide. the assad regime is killing sunni muslims and the sunni community is radicalising because of that. if we target the assad regime, maybe that would undermine support for isis and sunni radicalism. do you have a sense of where all of this is going in syria? how the country is likely
to look in six months or a year?|j to look in six months or a year?” think we're going to look at something that is a fedderal system, a syria that is divided where either assad or assad's successor, if the russians decide to give him up, control the spine of syria, that is homs, aleppo, damascus and everything west and that up north, you have the kurds who are living, essentially, independently of the assad regime in damascus along the turkish border. that's the ypg. and the sdf, the syrian defence forces. and then you have a large area that is where isis formally was, that's raqqa and the heran areas, the areas of syria and the plains, the vast
majority of syria, that's unknown who will govern this area. but i can't see right now assad regaining control over that whole area, especially if you have the united states preventing the assad regime and their allies from using chemical weapons to try to regain the territory. i think it's a fedderal system that looks like something in the best—case scenario, like iraq. just once again on this specific retaliation to that specific attack, the us national security advisor, general mcmaster, is being quoted as saying that president trump was given three options for retaliating. do you have any sense of what those oongss might have been and why this option was —— options might have been and why this option was chosen? i don't have privy to classified information. in many cases, what the president or what the commander—in—chief would be offered are three varying options. you know, small, medium and large. 0ne
are three varying options. you know, small, medium and large. one that might be more symbolic in going after the regime, targeting palaces, the shock and awe. the one that may be more risky, going after personnel. but that could have potentially hit russian targets in the country. and then one that was targeting primarily equipment, and significant equipment, but yet, not personnel. from one of the largest, most active air bases in the country, with a broad range of assets there, both fixed wing and helicopters. that would be viewed as being perhaps the most appropriate. maybe not destroying the palaces, maybe not going after assad himself, or the administration could be criticised for that. but we don't know. the military has developed
over the last six years a broad target set in syria. 0f over the last six years a broad target set in syria. of course, none of flees utilised during the 0bama administration. president trump was highly critical of the 0bama administration for its fecklessness and drawing the redline and not reacting and there were a lot of options on the table for the president to select from, i'm sure. we appreciate that we've had a lot of your time we appreciate that we've had a lot of yourtime and we appreciate that we've had a lot of your time and a lot of your input and thank you very much for that. just a final thought — do you feel that these attacks make it less likely that chemical weapons will be used? i guarantee you that the assad regime will think twice before they do it next time. they still have a capability. but the assad regime didn't have an enormous air force before and this will degrade that capability significantly. i think if had we done this in 2011, 2012, you
might not have 500,000 dead sunni muslims today. so i think that yeah, this will provide some level of deterrence going forward because lord knows what the trump administration will do if it happens again. even though it's russia who clearly holds the cards in russia, it was russia who was supposed to be responsible for removing chemical weapons from the battlefield and russia has not been touched by the strikes. well, i think that that makes a lot of sense. russia... we're getting involved in syria. we don't want to pick a fight unnecessarily with russia. we have a lot of problems with russia and of course, russia has nuclear weapons. i think that in measuring how we would respond, that was a major factor and it should be. russia is under sanctions for crimea, for ukraine, for georgia. they have backed the assad regime all along
the way. but we want to work with them to the degree that we can. i think this send a signal to the assad regime, but it also send a signal to the russians that the united states is not going to be a passive actor in syria or the middle east any longer, that we have a new administration in town and they're going to take a different approach to these type of aggressions. just very briefly, if you don't mind, a very briefly, if you don't mind, a very final thought — have we picked anotherfight... very final thought — have we picked another fight... has another fight been picked here with iran given that it been picked here with iran given thatitis been picked here with iran given that it is quite possible they will respond, surely, through their proxies, possibly in iraq, and there are 5,000-7,000 proxies, possibly in iraq, and there are 5,000—7,000 american troops in iraq? every action has a potential counteraction. the iranians are obviously not going to like this strike. the iranians support the assad regime. they support the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people. this may be part of a
longer and more complicated problem with the iranians. we'rejust getting into a fight with the assad regime here, but the trump administration also said that we're going to take a different approach to destabilising iranian regional behaviour. and i think we may see something come to the fore on that front in the coming weeks ahead. yeah, it puts us troops in harm's way, no doubt. thank you. thank you very much indeed. thank you very much indeed. thank you very much indeed. thank you very much to you for being with us. there is much more on this and all the other international news. of course, no apologies for concentrating on this development in the past few hours. much more on any of that any time for you on the bbc website. you can reach me and most of the team on twitter any time. thank you for watching. hello there, good morning.
lots of pleasant weather on offer over the next few days for large swathes of the united kingdom. and in fact, on thursday, it was a pretty decent day for many, although there was always a bit more cloud in the north and west, a little bit of rain with that, and that is where we keep most of the cloud overnight. it helps to give the temperatures up in the north and west, but generally it is a chilly night. major towns and cities, eight, nine degrees. but it is in the rural spots, away from the north and west, that we are going to see temperatures getting down to two or three degrees, so a chilly start for many, but a bright start as well, with lots of sunshine. so by the afternoon we will see lengthy spells of sunshine for much of england, wales, eastern scotland, too. western scotland, ireland, always seeing more cloud. the odd spot of rain, most places dry. ten or 11 degrees in the north and west, but with some sunshine in cardiff and in london, it is 15 and 16 degrees in a few places. but, across england and wales, we do have quite high levels of tree pollen through the day on friday,
and that is causing hayfever sufferers a bit of a problem. other side of the atlantic, it is the wind which has been a bit of a problem for the golfers at augusta. that wind still in evidence on friday, but easing down. and temperatures will be rising back on our shores into the weekend. it's going to be a lovely day for much of england, wales, most of scotland, most of northern ireland too. it is just the far north—west which will have a little bit of rain. 16,17 or 18 degrees across england and wales, very pleasant indeed. with light winds, looks like a lovely day at aintree for the grand national. 16,17 degrees, some sunshine and light winds. the second part of the weekend has this area of light high pressure drifting away towards the near continent. the winds started to drift in from a more southerly direction. the air will be coming up from spain, from france, and it will be quite warm air heading ourway. and the effects of that will be most felt across england and wales on sunday, because towards the north and west we will see a weather front drifting its way in. that is going to bring some cloud, some patchy rain, slightly
lower temperatures here. patchy cloud for the western side of england and wales. further east, there is going to be light winds, plenty of sunshine, and quite a warm day. the west of england will be easily into the low 20s. but we do have a weather front drifting its way south sunday night into monday, and as that happens it is going to shut the warm air out of the way. colder air will follow along behind, so monday a very different look and a very different feel to things. there is going to be a lot more cloud in the sky. it is going to be quite breezy. there will be a few more showers dotted around, as well, and temperatures will be taking a bit of a tumble. this is bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. 0ur breaking news this hour: the united states launches airstrikes against targets in syria. at least 50 cruise missiles were fired from american navy ships in the mediterranean. tonight i ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in syria, from where the chemical attack was launched.